The sages discovered that every vibrant aspect of Nature has a divine characteristic, as fundamentally everything is divine. All the vibratory powers of Nature emerge from the subtlest vibration, represented by (OM). Their permutation and combination give rise to the infinite phenomena of the universe. The 51 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet are a symbolic representation of the major vibratory states originating from the primeval OM.
Sri Ganesha, whose form is a figurative representation of OM, is considered to have 51 manifestations, corresponding to the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet and symbolizing the divine powers of these vibrant states. Of these 51 forms 32 are considered to be very important aspects of Sri Ganesha for invocation to realize certain aspirations. Among the thirty-two forms, sixteen forms are considered to be most powerful. These are known as Shodasha Ganapathi-s. Special body complexions and insignia are attributed to these forms.